A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Reposted from last year for this time of year. Some additions since original post.

Students terrified that others might hear a contrary opinion
ONE OF the shibboleths of Late Modern thought is something called 'diversity.' It is supposedly to be treasured, but actually it is applied only in certain contexts. No one wants diversity in a Big Mac. The last thing you want when biting the big bun is a big surprise, inasmuch as such a surprise is more than likely to be unpleasant. In other cases, we find a lack of enthusiasm for diversity of speech on campus, where disfavored speakers are shut down or shouted out by people chanting uniform  (i.e., non-diverse) three-word slogans. Diverse speech is likewise likely to be unpleasant or at least unwelcome. The same applies to diversity in the DNA code. Without consistency, there is no species and no formal cause of evolution. Most mutations kill the organism.

AND YET... Without diversity in the genome there is nothing for natural selection to chew on. It is the material cause of evolution. Diversity enters too between kinds of things: the same outlet that offers the Big Mac also offers chicken breast sandwiches, cheeseburgers, nuggets, and a diversity of other kinds. And if diversity within a species is iffy, diversity between species is another matter. Aquinas held that the multiplication of species across time and geography was a way in which creation participated in the infinity of the Creator.

Today being All Saints, we celebrate the single most diverse assemblage on Earth: to wit, the Communion of Saints. It includes peasants [St. Joan of Arc] as well as emperors and empresses [Sts. Heinrich II and Kunigunde]. They are 12 years old [Maria Goretti] and 86 years old [Polycarp of Smyrna]. They include schoolteachers [Jean Baptiste de la Salle] and highwaymen [Moses the Black]. They are been martyrs [Habib the Martyr], musicians [Ephraem of Syria], and mystics [Hildegarde of Bingen]. They have come from every people on the face of the earth.

Naturally, this Church must be celebrated by the champions of diversity....

A sampling across time and space:

Habib the Martyr
Jews: Joseph of Palestine, Pope Zozimus, Romanus the Melodist, Daniel of Padua, Julian of Toledo, Edith Stein of Dachau, etc.
Syrians: Habib the Martyr, John of Damascus, Pope John V 

Lebanese: Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardin, Rafka al Rayes, Sharbel Makluf
Anatolians: Nicholas, Gregory Nazianzen, Macrina the Younger
Greeks: Irene, Athanasia of Aegina, Alexander Akimetes
Romans: Agnes, Cecilia, Pope Cornelius
North Africans: Augustine of Hippo, Perpetua and Felicity, Cyprian of Carthage
Egyptians: Anthony the Hermit, Mary of Egypt, John the Merciful, Catherine of Alexandria
Arabs: Moses the Arab, Cosmas and Damian, Sheikh Aretas of the Banu Harith and the Martyrs of Najran, Mary Baouardy, the Little Sister to Everyone
Assyrians/Iraqis: Thaddeus and Maris, Maruthas of Maiferkat, Ephraem, the Harp of the Holy Ghost
Persians: Anastasius Majundat, Abdon and Sennen
Ethiopians: Iphegenia of Ethiopia, Kaleb Elesbaan of Axum, Moses the Black
Armenians: Mesrop Mashtots, Isaac the Great, Gomidas Keumerigian
The Little Flower
Georgians: Euthymius the Enlightener, George Mtasmindeli
Italians: Thomas Aquinas, the “Dumb Ox,” Clare of Assisi, John Bosco, Pope John XXIII
Spaniards: Nathalia and Aurelius, Theresa of Avila, Bonifacia Rodríguez de Castro  
Basques: Ignatius Loyola
Portuguese: Anthony of Padua, Isabella 
French: Jane Frances de Chantal, Margaret Mary Alacoque of the Sacred Heart, Theresa of Lisieux, the Little Flower  
Bretons: Alan de Solminihac 
The Dutch: Cornelius of Wijk bij Duurstede and the Martyrs of Gorkum
Belgians: Mary of Oignies 
Irish: Brigit of Kildare, Columba, Colmcille of Iona, etc.  
Scots: David, King of Scots, Margaret of Scotland 
English: Margaret Clitherow, the Pearl of York, Thomas More
The Sybil of the Rhine
Welsh: Winefride of Holywell, Cadoc of Llancarfan
Germans: Gertrude of Helfta, Herman the Cripple, Hildegarde of Bingen, the Sybil of the Rhine
Austrians/Swiss: Nicholas von Flue, Jakob Gapp
Scandinavians: Willehad of Denmark, Hallvard of Oslo, Bridget of Sweden, Thorlak Thorhallsson of Iceland
Balts: George Matulaitis
Magyars: King Istvan the Great, Elizabeth of Hungary
Czechs: Good King Wenceslaus, Agnes of Bohemia
Poles: Hyacinth Ronzki, Stanislaus Szczepanowski, Mother Mary Theresa Ledochowska, Pope John Paul the Great
Albanians: Mother Theresa of Calcutta
Slovenes: Lojze Grozde
Serbs: Sava
The Lily of the Mohawks
Croats: Mark Korosy
Romanians: Ieremia Stoica
Bulgars: Bishop Eugene Bossilkov
Russians: Olga of Kiev, Sergius of Radonezh, Euphrosyne of Polotsk
Native Americans: Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks, Black Elk of the Oglala, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin of Guadeloupe
Puerto Ricans: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago 
Mexicans: María Guadalupe García Zavala, “Mother Lupita”, Bartholomew Laurel, Padre Pio, José María Robles Hurtado and the Martyrs of the Christero War   
Central Americans: Peter Betancurt of Guatemala, Bishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador
Peruvians: Rose of Lima, Ana de los Angeles Monteagudo
Ecuadorians: Mercedes of Jesus, Mariana de Paredes, the Lily of Quito
Brazilians: Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, Antonio de Santa Ana Galvao
The Lily of Patagonia
Paraguayans: Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz
Argentinians: Ceferino Namuncurá, the Lily of Patagonia 
Chileans: Teresa of the Andes, Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga 
Americans [USA]: John Nepomucene Neumann, Elizabeth Seton, Katherine Drexel, Mother Frances Cabrini
Canadians: Marguerite D’Youville, Mary Rose Durocher 
Indians: Alphonsa Mattahupadathus, Kuriakose Chavara, Mother Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan
Chinese: Thaddeus Lieu, Agnes Sao Kuy
Japanese: Father Thomas Hioji Rokuzayemon Nishi, Magdalene of Nagasaki
Koreans: Agatha Kim, Paul Chong Hasang
Thais: Philip Siphong, Sister Lucy Khambong
Martin de Porres
Vietnamese: Vinh Sơn Phạm Hiếu Liêm, Micae Hồ Đình Hy, Agnes De, Father John Dat
Filipinos: Lorenzo Ruiz
Australians: Mary of the Cross
African diaspora: Benedict the Moor, Martin de Porres
Africans: Charles Lwanga of Uganda, Mother Josephine Bakhita of the Sudan, Anwarite Nengapeta of the Congo
Polynesians: Victoria Rasoamanarivo of Madagascar

A: Jesus said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, teaching them all that I have commanded you.” 
℟: And there before me was a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. A nice antidote when reading some of Voxday's commentators on the subject of race/intelligence/genetics.
    Some of them send me back to a time warp to the 19th century on those subject.
    Thanks again for reminding us that despite the skin colour we're still made in his image who have different talents and inclinations that advance the glory

    1. Collectivists always have problems with this. They imagine a collective has the attributes of an individual, writ large; and misinterpret statistics as essential features rather than summary accidents. Individuals may have intelligence; races (whatever they may be) do not. The average of the intelligences of the individuals categorized in that race is not the same kind of thing -- a category mistake -- assuming intelligence can be measured on a one-dimensional ratio scale. But if this were the case, there would be no such thing as brilliant scientists taken in by sharp con artists; and the children of Einsteins would be more Einsteins.

    2. The simple explanation is (aside from how IQ isn't what they think it is—and there's no such thing as race in the sense they mean it) that the supposedly less-intelligent Mesoamericans had place-value and the concept of zero before Christ was born, and the supposedly more-intelligent Chinese didn't know how to work iron till the 900s BC—well over half a millennium after the first iron metallurgy in sub-Saharan Africa.


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